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How Dancing can Teach you to Love your Body

When it comes to our bodies, dancing can provide confidence and a positive perspective on how we view ourselves! But how exactly does it do this?

  • Dancing helps you take care of your overall health. Dancing requires that you have stamina – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. For all of these elements of your well-being to be in harmony, it’s important to tend to them. For example, you can work out, meditate, eat well, talk to your ancestors, spend time with your Elders, and practice self-care.
  • Dancing helps you discover what your body is capable of. Throughout our lives, our bodies go through many changes. Although these changes can be exciting, they can also be difficult to accept or create feelings of insecurity. When we dance, we can express ourselves freely and discover how our bodies can move. You might be surprised by how much your body can adapt to physical challenges when put to the test!
  • Dancing helps you appreciate your own sacredness. Your body is sacred. When we dance, we can connect with our ancestors, the land, and who we are as people. For many of us, dancing provides a sense of peace, beauty, and “feeling right” with the world. It can also help us tune into our gratitude and improve our mental health.
  • Dancing can help you accept your body. Dancing can help us have gratitude for all the wonderful things that our bodies are capable of. Focusing on what your body can do (rather than how you look) can help you appreciate the fact that healthy and happy bodies come in many different shapes and sizes. Practicing this way of thinking can lead to greater body acceptance and a better body image over time.

To learn more about dancing, self-love, and self-care, check out these related resources:

Author: Stephanie Paz is a Tigua Indian of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The University of Texas at El Paso and is working towards a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior and Health Promotion from New Mexico State University.

Major thanks to the Tribal youth from the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Navajo Nation that provided insight into how dancing has changed their perspectives on their bodies.

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